We are living in a world of technological diversity. Mobile and smart devices are gaining more momentum as people explore their usage in various sectors, whether personal or corporate. Today, a single household consists of multiple devices such as televisions, smartphones, laptops, tablets, manufactured by different vendors with diverse operating systems such as Android, iOS, macOS, Windows 10, etc.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way the world works, the last decade especially has brought on more efficient networking with interrelated devices, digital machines, software and other technologies to help connect and share information with diverse devices over the internet. With the rise of technology and devices in the market, businesses today rarely operate on single screens, they believe in exploring the diversity in devices. Enterprises have realized the value of adopting various devices and technologies to suit their diverse business needs, which has given rise to the adoption of a multi-device corporate ecosystem.
What does a multi-device ecosystem mean?
A multi-device ecosystem, as the name suggests, is an environment that operates on multiples types of devices with diverse functionalities and operating systems. Employees today desire to work on devices of their choice, whether they are corporate-owned or employee-owned (BYOD) to deliver successful results. Moreover, enterprise mobility has also played a huge role in the adoption of multiple types of devices ranging from smartphones, tablets, laptops to rugged devices, POS, hand-held devices, vehicle-mounted devices and many more specific for various industries use-cases.
Why do businesses require diverse devices?
Businesses believe in supporting a multi-device ecosystem to cater to the fragmented requirements of their teams, unlike the age-old method of adopting all devices compatible with a single operating system, for ease of management. Some of the top reasons for fostering device diversity are as follows;
1. Enhanced user experience
The operational tasks of every team differ in an organization. Enabling employees to work on the devices and operating systems that are best suited for them helps them excel at their work and delivery better results. Several companies are now also supporting the BYOD (Bring your own device) work model to extend their employees the comfort of working from their personal devices no matter which brand, type and operating system they belong to.
2. Reduced external dependencies
With the traditional method of single-screen devices with a common operating system, there was always a chance of devices or operating systems experiencing outage or downtime which made all the devices collapse at once. With a mixed-device environment, even if one operating system or device type undergoes errors, then other devices can be relied upon to bridge the gap and ensure that work does not suffer.
The heterogeneity of devices and the various platforms they work on brings in a massive scope of scalability as compared to the functionalities presented by a single type of device. As businesses explore mobility, employees are no more confined to specific office spaces. With the advancement in various industrial sectors, comes a need for a tech stack that caters to the growing requirements of the businesses. Device diversity helps achieve scalability for businesses.
Challenges in adopting a multi-device ecosystem
The concept of a multi-device ecosystem has already gained popularity in the corporate world. However, businesses face certain inevitable roadblocks mentioned below, that hold them back from embracing device diversity.
1. Lack of resources
Even though businesses find device diversity appealing, most businesses have their own set of limitations when it comes to investing in technology. Fostering a multi-device environment is not easy since it requires enterprises to introduce and maintain several types of devices with specific operating systems while ensuring compatibility and uniformity with their business-specific tools. An enterprise that allows a BYOD environment needs to be furnished with resources to manage their employee-owned devices belonging to a different manufacturer and consisting of various platforms.
This not only means added investments in resources but also means that the enterprise’s IT team needs to be ready to take on the complex task of managing a combination of diverse devices and their management needs.
2. Security risks
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the most commonly adopted security measures by enterprises. It helps to establish a secure connection between the internet and the user to enable data sharing in a secure and encrypted manner. However, businesses that host multiple types of devices are required to individually ensure that their VPN is supported by their varied range of devices and operating systems. Incompatibility to some OS types necessitates organizations to adopt individual VPN networks compatible with their diverse devices.
3. App compatibility
Certain applications and tools are exclusive to specific operating systems. For example; Tweethbot, Timepage and several other apps are specific to iOS and are not available on Android or Windows. These incompatibility issues arising from device diversity can harm the business’s deliverables and productivity and add extra workload to the enterprise’s IT teams.
To achieve a stable and streamlined multi-device ecosystem, businesses need to ensure that they have the right resources to support a streamlined device diversity. Modern-day mobile device management (MDM) solutions such as Scalefusion help enterprises achieve a robust multi-device ecosystem.
How does MDM simplify the management of a multi-device ecosystem?
Scalefusion MDM is a device and endpoint management solution that helps businesses streamline their device management across a diverse fleet of devices and operating systems through a single unified dashboard. Let’s take a deeper look at some of Scalefusion’s offerings that make it an ideal resource to optimize the management of diverse devices.
Over-the-air device enrollment: One of the initial steps of implementing an MDM solution involves enrolling all the company-owned and employee-owned devices on the MDM solution. This itself can be a cumbersome process for enterprises that host a diverse device fleet. However, Scalefusion MDM offers a variety of over-the-air enrollment protocols for organizations to enroll bulk devices of different types with utmost ease.
Scalefusion supports Android zero-touch enrollment, Apple DEP and VPP, Windows Autopilot in addition to several other methods including IMEI-based enrollment, QR-code-based enrollment, ROM-based enrollment, Azure AD-based enrollment and more. Besides, Scalefusion also extends enrollment protocols for BYO devices such as G-suite-based enrollment and Office365 based enrollment.
The enrollment protocols are designed to be conducted over the air to reduce the burden on the IT teams and improve the end-user experience.
Scalefusion enables enterprises to set policies for their diverse device fleets and create individual device profiles with OS-specific sets of policies that can be pushed onto bulk devices at once.
IT admins can configure VPN settings, SafetyNet attestations, passcode policies, Factory reset protection (FRP) settings, remote wipe and several others for Android devices, as well as, BitLocker settings and Windows Information Protection Policy for Windows devices, FileVault settings for macOS devices, and certificate management for Android, Windows, iOS and macOS devices to secure corporate data against misuse.
Restricting corporate devices to a limited set of tools and applications that are required by the employees for their daily tasks and pushing these customized sets of applications on different user groups with diverse devices can be a challenging and time-consuming task for the organization’s IT teams.
Scalefusion MDM extends application management features that enable IT admins to create diverse user groups and device profiles and push applications from Google PlayStore for Android devices, App store and Volume Purchase Program (VPP) for Apple devices, Windows Business Store and Enterprise store for organizations to push their private business applications on their device fleets.
Device location tracking is one of the most important aspects for businesses that foster remote and frontline teams. With Scalefusion, IT admins of enterprises can keep a bird’s eye view of their migrating device fleets with location-tracking capabilities such as GPS-based tracking and Geofencing for Android and iOS devices and IP-based tracking for macOS devices straight from the dashboard.
One of the most time-consuming tasks of IT admins is to troubleshoot devices in events of device errors. Imagine the workload that IT admins of enterprises shoulder when support and troubleshooting have to be provided for a diverse range of devices. In such cases, remote support is a feature that helps businesses reduce the manual load in IT admins and helps them offer instant support for devices regardless of the employee’s location. Scalefusion offers remote cast & control capabilities for Android, Windows, iOS and macOS devices that helps IT admins resolve numerous issues faster within limited time.
Device management for diverse use-cases
While operating system diversity is a major player in a multi-device ecosystem, businesses, especially the ones that operate with a hybrid workforce use devices that are not necessarily mainstream. Apart from the conventional smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop management, businesses often need to manage several other devices such as digital signages, kiosks, handheld devices, point-of-sale devices, vehicle-mounted devices and more.
Kiosk management: Scalefusion MDM with its extensive set of features enables Kiosk mode management with single-app and multi-app modes that cater to industries such as retail, hospitality, logistics, education and many more. IT admins can configure Kiosk software settings and lock Android, Windows and iOS devices into purpose-built devices. Organizations can turn their Android POS and mPOS and Windows POS into single-purpose business kiosks.
Rugged device management: On-field workforces specific to industries such as construction, mining, warehousing, etc. prefer rugged devices that can sustain the harsh environments that these professions demand. While several MDM solutions offer device management capabilities applicable to regular consumer-based devices, enterprises often find themselves hunting for separate management software for rugged devices.
Scalefusion offers rugged device management capabilities for rugged mobile phones, tablets, handheld RFID readers, wearable computers, vehicle-mounted computers and more straight from its unified dashboard.
While the corporate world reaps the benefits of device heterogeneity, business leaders realize the value of implementing efficient solutions that help streamline their diverse management needs. Scalefusion MDM is a comprehensive solution that not provides an extensive set of functionalities to help reduce the burden of device management on the IT teams. From consumer devices like smartphones and laptops to rugged devices, Scalefusion MDM answers all your device management needs with its versatile features and a unified dashboard!
Shambhavi is a Senior Content Writer at Promobi Technologies with prior experience in commercial writing, creative planning, product cataloging, and content strategizing. She is a "Biotechnologist turned writer" and believes that the inception of great ideas happens over coffee.